Today is the last day of National Poetry Month and I’m going to share my favorite kidlit poetry find with you.
I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love “This Poem is a Nest” by Irene Latham. I devoured this book and then read it again slowly. I didn’t want to return it to the library (though I eventually did).
Latham coins her own terms for what is essentially found poetry here while contemplating a robin building a nest. “…it occurred to me that poems are nests–and we poets spend much of our time nest-building. We gather words, ideas, and dreams, and then we set about weaving, arranging, and structuring.”
She creates a big poem (in four parts) about a nest that she uses as her base poem. This is a Nest form (as she calls it). Then she proceeds to play with words until she has found every “nestling” she can within this poem, using every word within it at least once in another way. This leaves her with 161 nestling poems in a stunning variety of play with forms, topics, and words. I was blown away by how much she was able to spin out of this one Nest poem (and how many of her Nestlings resonated with me).
There were poems about writing:
And there were poems about wildlife lessons:
There were poems that felt oddly specific to the pandemic we were all living through:
And so many more that I loved and cherished. Plus silly poems, touching poems, rhyming poems, and a wonderful world of poetic creativity that still leaves me buzzing with joy, just touching the cover of the book.
Not to mention the illustrations by Johanna Wright which fit so perfectly on almost every page. At 112 pages, this isn’t exactly a picture book (I’m cheating again), but with as many illustrations as are here and as much as I love it, I HAD to share it with you.
So, for this month’s final poem, I leave you with this one:
May the moon stock your dreams with tons of creativity and poetry.
And if you’re looking for more poetry fun this month, be sure to check out the Kidlitosphere Event Roundup!